What About Your Friends?

I don't know about you, but with every passing birthday, it seems like 24-hour days get shorter and shorter. It's almost like once noon rolls around, it's a wrap for the day, because 7 PM is gonna come at me quick, fast and in a hurry. Since I barely have time to do what I need to get done on my mental checklist, it can be even harder to squeeze in a "What's up, fam?" convo with one of my peeps, no matter how much they might cross my mind throughout the day. I'm feeling overwhelmed and I'm over here single with no kids. Most of my friends are married and/or parents which makes scheduling quality time that much more difficult for them to do.

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If I had a dollar for every time a friend has helped me when I was in a tough financial situation, I'd probably finally have enough money to pay them all back.

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Having a soulmate isn't always about romance. You can find your soulmate in friendship too.---Unknown

Back when I was in my 20s, I used to hear women my age (mid-40s) say that if you are fortunate to have one true friend, consider yourself blessed. At the time, I was like "One? Just one?" but, on this side of wisdom, I totally get where they were coming from—now. It's one thing to know a lot of folks or to even enjoy several different people's company. But when you're heartbroken and someone sits with you on the phone throughout the entire night or you lose a job and someone financially sacrifices in order to help you get through the following month of bills—yeah, if you find one person who is willing to have your back in that way, that is who is truly a friend. And that is the ultimate kind of blessing.

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Oh, the amount of "What the heck was that?!" I could've been spared if I had read an article like this, oh, I'd say about 15 years ago. I'm telling you, the older I get, the more cautious I am about using the word "friend", no matter how popular social media has made it. It can't be said enough that just because you and someone may vibe or have certain things in common, that doesn't automatically make them your friend.

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I'm pretty sure that most of you are aware of what the five love languages are all about. We tend to touch on the topic quite a bit over this way (you can read a few articles here, here and here). Chances are, when you think of how to express your love to another person, it's usually as it relates to your romantic situations, not platonic ones. I get it. That's how it is for most folks.

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I only have a brother and he doesn't have any children (yet). So, although I don't have any blood nieces or nephews, I do have what I call "love nieces and nephews". Whenever we have Auntie-Shellie-n-them time, something I mention (at least every third conversation) is "A bad platonic friend can do far worse damage than a bad girlfriend or boyfriend can ever do."

I know from which I speak because, while growing up, I had a female friend who was one of the worst things to happen to me, to date. It took years for me to break free from her toxicity, but if I were to summarize what she was in one sentence, it's this—she was an extremely emotionally abusive individual.

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